Las Vegas: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY * Dodge has one win in 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Sterling Marlin took the win in a Dodge in 2002. * Dodge has earned two poles at Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- 2004 and ...

DODGE AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

* Dodge has one win in 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Sterling Marlin took the win in a Dodge in 2002.

* Dodge has earned two poles at Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- 2004 and 2007.

* In nine career LVMS starts, Kurt Busch has never started outside of the top 10. Busch's average starting position at the 1.5-mile track is an incredible 5.7.

* Heading into Las Vegas, Busch is 11th in the driver point standings, vaulting 11 positions with a sixth-place finish in Fontana last weekend. Penske Racing teammates Sam Hornish (+11 positions) is 26th and Brad Keselowski (+8 positions) is 28th.

NEWS NUGGETS

* Kurt Busch will host his 2nd annual "Sprint for Kids" charity go-kart challenge on Thursday, Feb. 25 at the Pole Position Raceway in Las Vegas.

* Penske Racing has earned at least one Sprint Cup Series win for 19 consecutive years; most among all current Sprint Cup owners.

DID YOU KNOW?

* The Busch Brothers started 1-2 at Las Vegas in 2009 -- Kyle 1st and Kurt 2nd. Kurt also started on the outside pole in 2004.

* Dodge is the "Official Passenger Car" of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

* Kurt Busch leads all current Dodge drivers in laps led at LVMS -- 53.

* Qualifying has never been cancelled at Las Vegas.

FAST FACT OF THE WEEK: LAS VEGAS

* NASCAR's premier series has competed in the state of Nevada 13 times. Las Vegas Motor Speedway has hosted only 12 of those Sprint Cup events. The other race was at Las Vegas Park Speedway in 1955.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

* In nine career starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch's best finish is a third in 2005.

* The leader at halfway has driven to victory just three times in the 12 races at Las Vegas.

* Six of the 12 races at Las Vegas have been won from a starting position of 17th or worse.

* Only one Las Vegas win has come from the pole.

* Kurt Busch's last pole came at California 9/07 (85 races ago).

PATRIOT GAMES

Kurt Busch on running car #702 at LVMS this weekend

"It's a great race car. "We named it 'Patriot' after winning at Texas because we were carrying the Operation Homefront colors and wanted to pay special tribute to our military. We raced the car one last time last year in the final race of the season at Homestead. We should have won that race, too, but pit strategy bit us. It was a two-tire versus four-tire deal at the end and we went the wrong way. We led a bunch of laps and had a car strong enough to win, but had to settle for fourth. We're confident that it'll be a strong car again this weekend in Vegas."

DODGE "CHATTER" BOX:

Jay Guy, crew chief, No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger

"Track position is always important, but at Las Vegas it seems to be paramount. Clean air will make any car feel like it's handling a little better. To get out front and enjoy that downforce you need to be able to get through the corners. Vegas is very fast for a mile-and-a-half track and it can be one of the most-challenging places for setting up a car. There is a fine line you have to walk between fast and wrecking and there is little margin for error. We've had good cars to start the season and we want to continue that this weekend."

Steve Addington, crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

"That's our big goal this weekend -- to get Kurt and the Miller Lite Dodge into Victory Lane. I know just how much last year's win meant to Kyle and it was a thrill to be part of such a huge hometown win like that. We're on a mission to get Kurt a big winner's trophy of his own in Vegas this weekend. I know how special a Las Vegas win would be for Kurt and it would be a great accomplishment if we can pull it off."

Travis Geisler, crew chief, No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger

"Heading into Las Vegas this weekend, our team has the opportunity to build on our good run at Auto Club Speedway. Early in the season, it is always exciting to get to the different types of tracks and see the results of your efforts over the winter. Las Vegas is a fast, high-banked intermediate track where we can really get a good read on our intermediate program. In order to be fast at Las Vegas you have to get back to the throttle early in the corner. This means the car must continue to turn though the center of the corners while accelerating. I look forward to this weekend and hope we can continue to improve our position in the point standings with our Mobil 1 Dodge."

DODGE QUOTES:

Sam Hornish Jr. -- No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger

"The Las Vegas race was good for the Mobil 1 team last year. It was the first race that we ran inside the top-10 most of the time and felt that we had a car capable of finishing near the front. Unfortunately, we didn't get the finish we should have, but we still got a top 20 out of it. I want to learn as much as I can to help myself and my teammates. Hopefully, we can get a Penske Racing car to Victory Lane this weekend."

Kurt Busch -- No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

"All the good things seem to be lining up for this weekend. It's a true confidence builder to head back into Vegas knowing that you have a guy calling the shots (crew chief Steve Addington) for us who won the thing there last year."

Brad Keselowski -- No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger

"Las Vegas in a Cup car is extremely fast, one of the fastest mile-and-a-half tracks that we visit. By the end of the race the sun has gone down and you will pick up grip so you need to have your car setup for that. The key is running the whole race without getting into trouble. It's such an 'edge' track and you have to really stay tuned in mentally. You need to concentrate on hitting your marks, but you also have to charge the corner. Hopefully, we'll hit the jackpot this weekend with the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger."

-source: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Brad Keselowski , Travis Geisler , Sam Hornish Jr. , Sam Hornis
Teams Team Penske